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Piatak Meats cow saved, used to raise money for food pantry
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Piatak Meats cow saved, used to raise money for food pantry

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Piatak Meats cow saved, being sold to raise money for food pantry

Former Ross Township Board Member Chuck Stojakovich and Ross Township Trustee Joe Shudick rescued the cow from the now-demolished Piatak Meats butcher shop and are now selling it to raise money for the Ross Township Food Pantry.

The steaks were high.

When Piatak Meats faced the wrecking ball, former Ross Township Board Member Chuck Stojakovich and current Ross Township Trustee Joe Shudick knew they had to moo-ve fast to save the landmark cow that loomed over the building for decades.

The six-foot-long and five-foot-tall brown-and-white cow that signaled to passing motorists that Piatak Meats had the meats suffered some minor damage while workers were tearing down the former butcher shop at 6200 Broadway that provided Merrillville with brats, sausages and ribs for a half-century.

"It's got a little hole, but it's made from plexiglass," Shudick said. "It could easily be patched up and painted over. There's no reason it couldn't last for another 50 to 60 years."

They wanted to save it since it's been such a local landmark that towered over Piatak Meats, which was founded in Gary in 1910 and closed for good in 2017.

"It's been there for as long as I can remember," Shudick said. "It's pretty cool. I figure somebody could still use it."

The Ross Township Trustee's Office moved the cow to a stall in a barn at Hidden Lake. It's looking to sell it for $500 and donate the money to the Ross Township Food Pantry at Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Merrillville, which provides non-perishable food to the needy between 9 and 11 a.m. every Friday.

"It's been getting worse and worse," Shudick said. "We'll put it toward the general fund to buy more dry foods and canned goods."

So far the Ross Township Trustee's office has had several inquiries and offers, including from a butcher shop in the Tri-Town and a farmer in Lowell.

"I think he wants to stick it out in his pasture just as a laugh," he said.

For more information, call 219-769-2111.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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